How Big Are We?
Given the recent stress in the construction markets and economy in general, there has never been a time when the staying power of your contractor is more important. Since our inception, BSI Constructors has managed its affairs with a level of financial prudence highly uncommon in the industry. By most industry standards, we areover capitalized. Why would we do that? Because if we are going to back up our commitments (and we are!), we must maintain sufficient liquidity and capital to do so, even when times are tough.
One key objective measure of a contractor’s financial strength is the ratio of its bonding capacity to its annual volume. A general contractor's bonding capacity (the amount of underwriting guarantee available from its surety) is determined by its management capability, track record, and net assets. BSI’s bonding capacity has averaged twice its annual volume over the last fifteen years. Because of this, our private clients are often in a position to forego the expense of a surety bond. But when one is required, we are happy to secure it from the Chubb Insurance Group, one of the most selective sureties in the construction industry, and recipient of A.M. Best's highest rating (A++, Superior). Chubb has been underwriting us for 30 years and considers BSI one of their premier accounts.
Also of note is that Dun & Bradstreet rates BSI in the 98th percentile of all businesses in terms of least financial risk, compared to a construction industry average of the 38th percentile.
The largest single project we have undertaken was a $150 million project for A.G. Edwards and Sons which was completed in 2002. The majority of our projects are in the $3 million to $30 million range. But we have also completed many projects under $1 million and, for ongoing clients, numerous projects under $100,000. While the natural tendency in the industry is that smaller projects get less attention, we are proud that many of our best references come from our small projects. If we take on the project, you are going to get our attention. And if you have a "mega project," you will get to see a true "big company" capability to go along with that "small company" hands on attention.
What is our annual revenue? Who cares? Gross revenue is pretty far down the list of things we worry about at BSI. It is true that contractors are often ranked by it. And we have done enough work in past years that we've periodically been listed in the top 400 general contractors in the U.S. or the top several based upon construction performed in our primary St. Louis metro market. But we would much rather focus on doing a smaller volume of quality projects for really great clients than chasing the type and volume of work that revenue driven contractors are forced to pursue. Our largest revenue level for any single year has been $180 million, and we handled that with no problem. But we would consider other years, when we performed significantly less volume just as successful. While some businesses take justifiable pride in steadily increasing revenue stream, we find that our clients are pretty much interested in the level of focus and attention we bring to their project. Go figure.